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Senior Cop Held in $46 Million Swindle

A police general overseeing an anti-mafia coordination bureau for former Soviet republics was detained Wednesday in Moscow on suspicion of defrauding a businessman of $46 million, the Investigative Committee said.

Lieutenant General Alexander Bokov tricked the unidentified businessman by promising to help him obtain a controlling stake in an unspecified transportation company, which he was in fact unable to do, the committee said on its web site.

Bokov and his two suspected accomplices, the chief of the International Fund for Cossack Development, Mikhail Kreimer, and Stroibeton company head Sergei Stepanov, who were also detained, received the money in 2005 and 2006, the statement said, without explaining why the case was not opened sooner.

A law enforcement source told Interfax that Bokov took $10 million from the head of a transport company and attempted to extort another $35 million from an unspecified banker under the threat of violence.

The two reports could not be immediately reconciled.

Bokov and the others spent the money on real estate in the Moscow region, Cyprus and Britain, the Interfax source said, adding that more senior officials may be linked to the case.

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